'Superpowers on the Runway'

Singapore’s Changi Airport is introducing revolutionary AR (Augmented Reality) technology into its loading process, giving its workers superhuman abilities on the runway. 

This futuristic tech arriving in the form of smart glasses, will allow ground handlers to view the details of cargo loading a plane including its weight, loading sequence and position within the aircraft's cargo hold via a QR code displayed on baggage and cargo containers. In addition, cameras integrated in the AR glasses will enable control centre staff to view what handlers on the ground see in real-time.

SATS, Changi Airport’s primary ground handling firm, will be deploying the setup with the hardware commissioned to manufacturer Vuzix and the software created by Eon Reality. SATS claims that this new technology could see loading processes cut by 15 minutes, reducing waiting times for passengers outlined in an article on Mashable.com. 

Kevin Chin, Vice President of Projects at SATS outlined the issues that the proposed technology could solve speaking to Mashable.com he said, “Currently we have challenges (such as) limited real time information, we use manual loading instructions and are limited to walkie-talkies, which may be loud and hard to hear (with background noises)”. 

 Despite the excitement surrounding this new technology, there are limitations to AR glasses also. Firstly, a set of glasses will only last one hour fully charged, requiring handlers to carry an extra battery pack, which can charge a pair of glasses for up to 5 hours. Therefore the glasses will only be able to function for 6 hours out of what would normally be an 8 hour shift. 

 Just as the introduction of AR into the loading process at Changi will solve issues around loading times, here at Pearson College London and Pearson Business School, we work tirelessly to solve the issues that have been highlighted by employers in the upcoming workforce with our innovative courses combining industry and education.